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(Bloomberg) -- Environmentalists and consumer advocacy groups are castigating automakers for supporting the Trump administration’s effort to relax fuel economy standards, amid fresh warnings from a Democratic leader that the plan won’t deliver promised safety benefits and will raise costs for consumers.Senator Tom Carper, a Democrat from Delaware, said the administration’s latest draft plan for fuel economy and greenhouse gas standards for autos, which is now being reviewed by the White House, fails to deliver many of the benefits promised when it was initially proposed in 2018. Although the Trump administration backed off from a harsher initial plan that would have frozen requirements for six years, Carper said the new approach -- built on a 1.5% annual increase in the stringency of the mandates -- may be even worse.“The SAFE vehicles rule, if finalized in its present form, will lead to vehicles that are neither safer, nor more affordable or fuel efficient,” Carper said in a letter late Wednesday to the head of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, which is now examining the proposal.Plan to Gut Obama’s Auto Mileage Rules Is Getting Dialed BackCarper’s missive comes amid a broad pressure campaign against the Trump administration vehicle plan -- which has yet to be released -- and the automakers who have endorsed part of it. Newspapers in Detroit, Sacramento and Washington on Thursday published an advertisement containing an open letter by environmental groups calling out Toyota Motor Corp., General Motors Co., Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV and other carmakers.Those companies backed the Trump administration in lawsuits that challenged its decision to strip California’s authority to set tougher greenhouse gas emissions rules than federal regulators, a key element in President Donald Trump’s sweeping plan to reshape auto efficiency rules.“We should be producing the cars of the future, not ceding the clean-car market to other countries,” Gina McCarthy, president of the Natural Resources Defense Council and an Environmental Protection Agency official during the Obama administration, said in a press release announcing the letter. “It’s unacceptable for these auto executives to side with President Trump as he works to endanger the health and welfare of millions of Americans,” she said.Separately, Consumer Reports on Wednesday sent a petition signed by 75,000 people urging those carmakers to drop their support. And on the sidelines of an annual auto industry show in Washington, religious leaders were scheduled to pray for automakers, asking that they consider the “moral implications” of the administration’s fuel standards policy, according to a press release from groups organizing the opposition.Carper based his arguments on a copy of the draft final rule he said his office obtained from a person outside the government. His letter was previously reported by the Washington Post.The rule as submitted to the White House would impose net costs rather than the benefits claimed in the 2018 proposal with net costs of $34.4 billion to $41.3 billion over the lifetime of vehicles produced under the Trump standards, which “would seem to fly in the face of rational rulemaking,” Carper wrote.By contrast, the Trump administration has argued that easing mileage standards would reduce vehicle prices and make it easier for consumers to replace older, less-efficient cars with new one that are more efficient and safer.The draft final rule finds that a 1.5% per year increase in fleet mileage requirements through 2026 would cut vehicle prices by roughly $1,000 but would also result in consumers spending more than $1,400 on additional fuel, Carper said.While the earlier 2018 proposal projected that thousands of highway fatalities would be eliminated, the draft final rule projected just 471 lives would be saved under the weaker standards through 2029, Carper wrote.“I urge you to require EPA and DOT to abandon these efforts entirely,” or “at a minimum” require the agencies to make wholesale revisions to the rule before it is finalized, Carper wrote.The draft “utterly fails to provide any demonstrable safety, environmental or economic benefit to consumers or the country,” Carper said.To contact the reporters on this story: Ryan Beene in Washington at firstname.lastname@example.org;Jennifer A. Dlouhy in Washington at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Jon Morgan at firstname.lastname@example.org, Elizabeth WassermanFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Xerox Holdings Corp. said it intends to nominate 11 directors to replace the board of HP Inc. after the personal-computer maker refused to engage in takeover talks, according to a statement Thursday.The iconic printer maker hasn’t increased its $22-a-share takeover offer after HP rejected its proposal, which it argues undervalues the company. Instead, Xerox will seek to replace HP’s entire board through a proxy fight to push the merger through.The nominees include former senior executives from dozens of companies including Aetna Inc., United Airlines Holdings Inc. and Novartis AG.“HP shareholders have told us they believe our acquisition proposal will bring tremendous value, which is why we lined up $24 billion in binding financing commitments and a slate of highly qualified director candidates,” said John Visentin, vice chairman and chief executive officer of Xerox.Xerox filed its slate ahead of a Friday deadline for board nominations. The move could potentially be a precursor to Xerox taking its offer directly to shareholders through a tender offer at the current offer price or a premium if HP continues to rebuff its efforts, according to people familiar with the matter. No decision has been made on whether to pursue a tender offer, the price it would be put forth at, or when it would do so, the people said, asking not to be identified because the matter is private.The push to replace the board marks an escalation of the simmering tensions between the two hardware giants that have withered in a world increasingly driven by software. Xerox has argued the tie-up would revive both companies and unlock about $2 billion in synergies.“These nominations are a self-serving tactic by Xerox to advance its proposal, which significantly undervalues HP and creates meaningful risk to the detriment of HP shareholders,” HP said in an emailed statement.HP’s board currently has 12 members. Dion Weisler, the former chief executive officer of the company, has said he would step down at the next annual general meeting, which the company said would reduce the board size to 11. Its last annual meeting was on April 23.HP in November rebuffed an unsolicited, cash-and-stock offer from Xerox, citing concerns about the financial health of its smaller rival, which has experienced declining annual revenue since 2012.HP’s board said it was open to exploring a merger, but believed the offer undervalued the company. Activist shareholder Carl Icahn, who owns about 11% of Xerox and has a 4.3% stake in HP, has pushed for the tie-up.Xerox announced Jan. 6 that it had arranged a $24 billion loan with a group of banks to finance the takeover. HP and its advisers had questioned Xerox’s ability to raise the money for the deal.Following the financing announcement, HP said it believed the offer still undervalued the company.Xerox’s director nominees are:Betsy Atkins, CEO of Baja Corp.George Bickerstaff, co-founder and managing director of M.M. Dillon & Co.Carolyn Byrd, CEO of GlobalTech Financial.Jeannie Diefenderfer, who spent 28 years at Verizon.Kim Fennebresque, who was CEO of Cowen Group for nine years.Carol Flaton, who has served as a managing director at AlixPartners.Matthew Hart, who most recently served as president and chief operating officer of Hilton Hotels until the buyout of Hilton by Blackstone in 2007.Fred Hochberg, who was most recently the chairman and president of the Export-Import Bank of the United States during the Obama administration.Jacob Katz, who was chairman of Grant Thornton.Nichelle Maynard-Elliott, who most recently served as executive director of mergers & acquisitions for Praxair Inc.Thomas Sabatino, Jr. who most recently served as executive vice president and general counsel of Aetna Inc.Citigroup Inc. is acting as Xerox’s financial advisor, and King & Spalding LLP is providing legal counsel to Xerox. Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP is providing legal counsel to Xerox’s independent directors.(Updates with additional information in paragraph five, HP comment in paragraph seven)To contact the reporter on this story: Scott Deveau in New York at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Liana Baker at firstname.lastname@example.org, Matthew Monks, Molly SchuetzFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
GoDaddy, GameStop, Zumiez, Signet Jewelers and lululemon athletica highlighted as Zacks Bull and Bear of the Day
Shell (RDS.A) aims to tap the growing opportunities in the in-car payments space and offer better retail experience to its customers through payments from UConnect Market.
The employment report is good news for Australian Dollar bulls and discouraging news for short-sellers betting on a February rate cut. Now they have to reset the clock to April or May so selling the AUD/USD on rallies may not be sound advice unless the coronavirus scare spooks investors into dumping the currency because of Australia’s ties to China’s economy.
The British pound has flexed some muscle, as GBP/USD has climbed above the 1.31 line for the first time in two weeks. Will the upward move continue?
Employment figures give the Aussie a boost as the focus shifts to the ECB. Will Lagarde follow the BoC with a dovish outlook to sink the EUR?
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- The world’s largest car market is cratering and there are few signs of a recovery. It was never supposed to get this bad — and even if it got close, a helping hand from Beijing would steer things out of any prolonged trouble. Or so people thought... Instead, passenger car sales in China fell 9.5% last year, more steeply than the 4.3% in 2018, which was the first annual sales decline in over a decade. The drop has dragged down the global automobile industry and its deep supply chain. That leaves automakers in limbo. After years of relying on the Chinese market for its double-digit volume growth, they don't seem too sure about whom to build cars for, or what kind. Beijing’s lackluster stimulus last year included a grab-bag of measures: removal of car-purchase limits, support for buying electric cars and incentives to build infrastructure like rural gas stations. They haven't done much to revive demand. Consumers were waiting for more, which simply led to a steeper slide in sales. With no new sweeteners and the distortions of past stimuli fading, a real picture of demand is emerging. It’s nuanced. There are fewer first-time buyers, and more who are purchasing replacement vehicles. They’re increasingly looking to upgrade, and also buying more used cars. In a word, consumers are being more discriminating.Luxury carmakers account for around 15% of the market and are doing better than the rest. Porsche Automobil Holding SE, for instance, delivered 86,752 vehicles to customers in China last year, up 8% from 2018. In December, BMW Brilliance Automotive Ltd.’s average daily vehicles sales rose 21% on the year, up from 5% in November. Down the food chain, buyers of family-friendly cars are upgrading. Demand for sports utility vehicles and sedans remains depressed but is shifting toward higher-end, in-between cars, according to analysts at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. Buyers of these so-called multi-purpose vehicles, or MPVs, have long bought the same few basic models, priced between 40,000 yuan ($5,800) to less than 100,000 yuan. As the market was flooded with SUVs, aspirational buyers stayed away. Now, manufacturers are improving design and comfort, and raising prices.A slew of MPV models will be released this year. Going by low discounts compared to the rest of the market, demand remains sturdy. Goldman’s analysts estimate that in every 1% of demand that moves to the higher-end MPVs lies an annual revenue opportunity of almost 50 billion yuan ($7.25 billion). Here’s the hard reality: The double-digit growth days of selling nearly 25 million cars a year are vanishing in the rearview mirror. So are outsize profits from China. Much like the U.S. market, the type of demand will evolve and how people get around will change. Younger Chinese are more inclined to use ride-hailing services. The older people get, the less likely they’ll obtain driving licenses. China’s population is aging rapidly. This is a structural slowdown.In theory, China has plenty of room to sell more cars. Penetration rates are low and so is the national percentage of licensed drivers. The carmakers are banking on semi-urban China, ostensibly the most upwardly mobile consumers. But sales are unlikely to top 20-some million a year, even with the push toward electric vehicles (only 5% of cars sold now) and regulations that will eventually force buyers to go green. For now, higher technology only raises the cost of car ownership out of reach.The market is oversupplied, no doubt. The good news is that inventories are coming down as automakers try to stay in the black. Toyota Motor Corp. has increased the types of models it sells in China and gained market share. As weaker players drop out and the industry consolidates, the likes of Honda Motor Co. and Volkswagen AG are taking a bigger piece. Failure to rigorously manage output will mean a pile of clunkers. Changan Ford Automobile Co. is sitting on some of the highest levels of inventory, as is SAIC General Motors Corp.’s Baojun. GM continues to lose market share. Ford Motor Co. said last week that its sales in China dropped 26% in 2019. European carmakers have also struggled. Making money by churning the assembly lines won’t cut it anymore. The China Road to success is a lot narrower. Only the companies that drive it smarter will survive. To contact the author of this story: Anjani Trivedi at email@example.comTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Patrick McDowell at firstname.lastname@example.orgThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg LP and its owners.Anjani Trivedi is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering industrial companies in Asia. She previously worked for the Wall Street Journal. For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
The Australian dollar fell to test the previous downtrend line but bounced significantly from there to show signs of resiliency. The hammer that is trying to form is a good sign, and quite frankly it looks as if the Aussie is trying to save itself.
The EV momentum is expected to reach a new level in 2020 with various attractive, long-range and affordable vehicles coming up this year.
Millennials are backing away from cash as innovations in the digital payments industry makes cashless transactions convenient and secure.
ServiceMaster (SERV) focuses on improving business through investments in sales, marketing and advertising, as well as brand awareness and market penetration initiatives.